102 Tasting Notes
I’ve decided this is my favorite Japanese green, and I’m upping the rating to 100 because I think it’s perfect. I like it even better than the Shinchas I ordered from Den’s this spring (as good as those are). It has such an incredible sweet, yet savory, buttery, brothy, thick flavor. I’m sure I need to sample more green teas from other companies, but it would be hard to imagine how they could top this.
The postal carrier delivered this to my doorstep this morning, and I wasted no time in preparing a cup in my new kyusu. I’ll write more later, but my first impressions are:
-This is a very GREEN, green tea. The liquor, the scent, the taste, everything.
-Thick, rich, savory, vegetable broth-like flavor
-Lots of umami.
-Sweet/tingly sort of aftertaste that lingers
-No bitterness, but a strong vegetal flavor.
-In comparison with the Hashiri shincha, this one is stronger and has more umami. Hashiri was flavorful but had a more delicate, hard-to-pin down sort of flavor. I like them both, and I think anyone who likes sencha and gyokuro would like both of these teas.
I will write more after the second steep….
I wasn’t sure if I’d like this tea because sometimes teas that have a lot of flavors, especially caramel, come across as too sweet, or you can’t taste the tea for the flavors. Wow, am I glad I decided to give it a try. This is the best vanilla tea I’ve ever had. It is intensely flavorful but you can still taste the black tea. The flavors all blend together beautifully. The caramel gives the vanilla extra depth. I didn’t detect as many of the cream notes, but perhaps if I try it iced I will. Thank you, Rachel, for creating this delicious blend that caters to my sweet tooth without adding any extra pounds! I will be back to buy more.
This review is for the newly-released 2012 Hashiri Shincha, which I just received from Den’s. I’m so glad I pre-ordered this. For some reason it really tickles me that the leaves I am brewing in Chicago today were still on the tree in Japan so recently.
Upon opening the bag, there is the unmistakable, intoxicating scent of fresh, grassy, sweet sencha. I followed the brewing instructions (160 F for 90 seconds) and was rewarded with a yellowish-greenish liquor. My first impressions upon sipping it were of buttered green vegetables, but the “buttery” sensation soon dissipates and shifts to a sweet vegetal sort of flavor. Grassy, but not bitter. Brothy. Savory and sweet at the same time — how does it manage that? The flavors are really strong and keep shifting from vegetal and grassy to sweet and almost herbal, and the flavors are long lasting; I can still taste this tea (in a good way) several minutes after drinking it. It’s delicious; like springtime in a cup.
The first time I brewed this I let it sit for just one minute too long and it came out a tad astringent, so I would say this is a tea that is, indeed, fussy about brew times. But if you follow the directions on the package, you’ll be rewarded with a remarkably sweet and flavorful cup.
This is one of my favorites when I want a strong, flavorful black tea to help wake me up. I get notes of raisin, chocolate, cola caramel, and sort of a baked-goods kind of feel from this tea. I find that adding a pinch of Truvia helps bring out the flavors. This is a full-bodied, well-rounded tea.
This is the best sencha I have ever had. Delicious! Rich and almost savory, as others have mentioned. Vegetal, buttery, grassy, thick. No bitterness or even a hint of astringency. It doesn’t taste like vegetable soup, but it gives a similar effect.
I realize this tasting note is short…I will update soon, when I have time to drink it, savor it and record all of my impressions. But seriously, if you are thinking of buying this, you will not be disappointed. I think even those who aren’t big fans of Japanese greens would like this. It’s that good!